Residents and visitors to the United Kingdom will soon be able to buy
fish and chips and ice cream with 10-penny coins celebrating those treats.
The Royal Mint on March 1 revealed a series of circulating 10-penny
coins celebrating “the A to Z of Britain.”
The coin themes follow the alphabet, beginning with the Angel of the
North statue and ending with the black-and-white pedestrian or Zebra Crossings.
United Kingdom residents were polled in 2017 to select the themes
for these new coins, which are legal tender of the U.K. and offer a
striking departure from themes normally associated with the
1,100-year-old Royal Mint.
Designs also include the super spy star of print and screen, James
Bond; more foodstuffs; the Loch Ness Monster; and diverse other landmarks.
Topics vary by vote
A is for Angel of the North, which was voted the most iconic
landmark in the north of the U.K. (25 percent), beating Blackpool Pier
(13 percent) and even Edinburgh Castle (15 percent).
S is for Stonehenge, the most famous southern landmark (32 percent),
beating the White Cliffs of Dover (30 percent) and the London skyline
B is for Bond … James Bond, the favorite character from British
fiction and film, with 48 percent of votes, beating Harry Potter (11
percent ) and Miss Marple (six percent).
Cricket was a winner as the favorite sport, registering 48 percent
of the vote against soccer’s 29 percent.
T is for Tea, which despite the U.K.’s growing love of coffee, was
voted the drink most associated with Britain (at 86 percent), beating
coffee, and gin and tonic (2 percent each) by a huge margin.
As well as the more everyday items, the collection acknowledges some
of the U.K.’s most astonishing scientific and technological achievements.
W is for World Wide Web, representing Tim Berners-Lee’s invention of
the internet, and G is for Greenwich Mean Time, celebrating the
country’s naval history and establishing a global timescale.
Anne Jessopp, CEO at the Royal Mint said, in a press release, “These
designs were selected because we feel they represent a diverse mix of
elements that make up the country we all love. There is a lot to be
proud of in the UK — whether it’s at the highest level, our Houses of
Parliament representing democracy and freedom of speech, technological
advancements such as Tim Berners-Lee’s World Wide Web, or just a good
cup of tea, it’s all here in the designs.”
The Royal Mint is marketing the release of the coins as the Great
British Coin Hunt.
In total, 100,000 of each coin are to be released into circulation.
“We hope the British public is inspired to take part in the Great
British Coin Hunt by checking their change for those miniature works
of art that spell out just some of the many iconic themes that are
Quintessentially British,” Jessopp said, in the press release.
The full Great British Coin Hunt range is as follows:
• A — Angel of the North
• B — Bond … James Bond
• C — Cricket
• D — Double Decker Bus
• E — English Breakfast
• F — Fish & Chips
• G — Greenwich Mean Time
• H — Houses of Parliament
• I — Ice-Cream Cone
• J — Jubilee
• K — King Arthur
• L — Loch Ness Monster
• M — Mackintosh
• N — National Health Service
• O — Oak Tree
• P — Post Box
• Q — Queuing
• R — Robin
• S — Stonehenge
• T — Teapot
• U — Union Flag
• V — Village
• W — World Wide Web
• X — X Marks the Spot
• Y — Yeoman
• Z — Zebra Crossing
All of the coins feature the Jody Clark effigy of Queen Elizabeth II
on the obverse.
Different design approach
Dr. Kevin Clancy, director of the Royal Mint Museum, said in a press
release: “This is a departure from the standard way in which The Royal
Mint has celebrated what is great about Britain in the past. We have
marked great events, celebrated engineers, politicians and of course
royalty. This series really drills down into the heartland of what
makes Britain British. It’s the granularity of British life celebrated
on the coinage,” Clancy said.
Accompanying the physical collection, the Royal Mint has introduced
the Great British Coin Hunt app, allowing coin hunters to create a
digital collection of the coins they find in their change.
Users can download the app for free from the App Store or Google
Play, to scan the coin with their camera, unlocking exclusive content
and placing their coin into a digital folder. They can also link the
app to their social media to share the treasures they find in their
pockets and wallets.
There will also be a heatmap within the app, showing where different
coins are being found around the country and directing them to swap
shops where they can trade coins with fellow collectors. Users can
even use the app to have a go at designing their own coin.
The entire collection will be rolling out into circulation across
the country, and will be available at selected post offices from the
first week of March.
A collector’s folder and silver Proof and Uncirculated versions of
the coins are available to purchase from the Royal Mint website.
For more information visit www.royalmint/coinhunt.